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Pearl 62: On board Pearl Yachts' latest superyacht

27 July 2021• Written by Andrew Johansson

With competitors backed by powerful international conglomerates, the only way for family-run builders to survive is to do things better – or differently. Andrew Johansson says Pearl Yachts’  latest model, the Pearl 62, promises both...

As I approach the 18.6-metre Pearl 62, moored in Southampton on a wet and gusty day, it is clear that she is an attempt to revive the essence of the British brand’s obsolete Pearl 60 and 65. The exterior styling, by Dixon Yacht Design, embraces the visual DNA of these older models while offering modern appeal with larger windows and longer, uninterrupted stretches of glass. Crucially, these stylistic advances retain the signature look of a Pearl yacht.

“There are clear and simple lines on the profile that we wanted to carry over from one boat to the other,” explains Bill Dixon, founder of Dixon Yacht Design, who has a long-standing relationship with the British shipyard. “While you style the outside, you need to ensure it will work on the inside too. The secret to this boat was creating it as a whole and then making sure each space worked with the other.”

The special appeal of this boat is really the space on offer
All photos by Alberto Cocchi

In a marketplace offering a healthy variety of options, relying on the tried-and-tested simply won’t cut it: maintaining client interest is harder than ever. This fact is all too evident to Pearl Yachts’ managing director Iain Smallridge, who wanted to combine new ideas with the successes of the past to meet today’s client demands. The goal was to deliver a product that offers more than its competitors and execute it to a standard expected of much larger boats.

“We wanted to replicate the success we had with the Pearl 60, which was an aft cabin design, on the Pearl 62,” says Smallridge. “The USP of the Pearl 60 was that it had four cabins. We sold about 30 boats over a period of eight or nine years, making it the most successful model we’ve had to date. So, with the Pearl 62 we have a full-beam owner’s suite with dedicated staircase amidships, along with a double and two twin suites up forward and the option of a crew cabin or jet ski garage aft, which is unique in the market.”

It delivers what the market wants: a spacious, well executed and finished yacht that is simple for owners to navigate

With the exterior taking a back seat to the requirements of the layout, a generous internal space has been achieved with decorative schemes to suit most tastes – the yard offers two options on the 62. Stepping through the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and into the main saloon, the quality is immediately evident on this modern interior edition. The light colour palette with dark accents, together with materials such as wood and marble, have been used throughout.

The interior design’s attention to detail is worthy of a superyacht. The wooden frame that bridges the main saloon to the galley on the main deck, for example, has been constructed from individually cut wooden pieces sandwiched together – rather than routing one piece of wood – to create an engaging vertical ribbed effect.

The full-beam master suite is accessed via a private staircase

With the exterior taking a back seat to the requirements of the layout, a generous internal space has been achieved with decorative schemes to suit most tastes – the yard offers two options on the 62. Stepping through the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and into the main saloon, the quality is immediately evident on this Modern interior edition. The light colour palette with dark accents, together with materials such as wood and marble, have been used throughout.

The interior design’s attention to detail is worthy of a superyacht. The wooden frame that bridges the main saloon to the galley on the main deck, for example, has been constructed from individually cut wooden pieces sandwiched together – rather than routing one piece of wood – to create an engaging vertical ribbed effect.

The full-beam master suite is accessed via a private staircase

This detail is replicated on doors, panelling and furniture throughout the yacht. The wooden frame’s slats also act as a visual break between the two internal zones of the boat without obstructing the valuable views fore and aft.

“The joinery detailing is very organic and sculptural, using a blonde wood mixed with black and neutrals,” says Kelly Hoppen, founder of Kelly Hoppen Interiors and the Pearl 62’s interior designer. “For me, the change of textures and colour was the difference [on this project], as well as the sculptural moulded joinery, which I adore. I also love the ribbed effect throughout the yacht, enhancing the layering of textures and lighting details, which are always so important on a yacht.”

The main saloon, guest cabins and owner’s suite feel larger than they actually are thanks to the carefully planned layout and head height that rises and dips with the floor level. Multiple windows and a spacious staircase forward lead the eye ahead to the double guest suite in the bow on the lower deck. Access to this cabin is via a spacious lobby from which two twin suites are accessed. Above the double cabin is a sunpad and forward-facing seating with a foldaway teak table, while the aft deck hosts al fresco dining. The flybridge includes additional seating and sun loungers, a wet bar and cool box with shade provided by an optional hardtop with retractable sunroof.

“When we developed the Pearl 75 in 2014 we wanted a different angle on the interior design.  All the production boat builders tend to produce variations of the same theme and we all followed a predictable pattern,” says Smallridge as he explains why Pearl Yachts commissioned Hoppen for the 62.

An alternative layout sees the dining table placed forward, behind the helm, for those wanting more space in the galley

“When we began with the Pearl 75, we wanted something that was stylish and designer but wasn’t a variation of someone else’s theme. So when I was introduced to Kelly’s work, I really liked her style, the quality of the design and its exclusivity. I think anyone who looks at our yachts styled by Kelly Hoppen will quickly understand why we went down that road.”

This partnership certainly offers something different from the market, but the special appeal of this boat is really the space on offer. By adopting the qualities of the Pearl 60 combined with a fresh new look outside and in, and by pushing the engines as far aft as possible with the use of Volvo IPS drives, Pearl has made this yacht bigger than would otherwise have been possible. In particular, the space saving nature of the pods allows for a jet ski garage or crew cabin above them. While the engine room is fitted with one of three twin engine options, at the time of writing most clients have specified the most powerful IPS 1200s.

In short, the Pearl 62 delivers what the market wants – a spacious, well-executed and finished yacht that is simple for owners to navigate. The limited production of these boats over its competitors also adds an element of exclusivity. The quality and space that comes with the 18.6-metre is evident as soon as you step on board, and with nine boats already sold and interest continuing to grow, the Pearl 62 is on course to beat its much-loved predecessors in every sense.

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